A Walk in Wonderland

I steered her stroller off the path into the vintage carpet of crispy leaves, so she could hear the difference. The difference between the sound of wheels on the sidewalk, and wheels in wonderland.

When we got to the soccer field I steered up and over a grassy knoll away from the noisy traffic, then gently pulled her out so she could run free on the lush, still green – soccer field. She walked instead, because this Grandma put the wrong shoes on her feet.

Her hooded blue jacket fit pretty well, with one roll up on the sleeves, but the hood fell down and immediately the wind swooped her hair up and over her eyes. I couldn’t decide which was more wonderful, her halo of blonde curls spilling all over the sky, or the way her little hands so capably pushed her bangs off her face.

She looked around at the wide open spaces, and I looked at her. She gawked at a magpie hopping under a nearby tree, and I gawked at her. She bent down to feel the grass, and studied it between her fingers,and I… studied her.

When I thought my heart couldn’t feel anymore awestruck, she placed her doll like hands on her hips, slightly more to the small of her back, and plodded further on ahead as if she was pondering something very deep, or leading some presidential parade. What does a seventeen month old ponder, I wondered?

We arrived at a red gravel running track that was separated from the grass by a sturdy curb. I didn’t want her to fall so I asked her to wait for me, and to my delight she did. I positioned myself right in front of her and reached out both my hands for hers, as if I were escorting the queen down onto her red carpet.

I closed my eyes for a second and promised myself to remember the moment, because nothing holds a candle to feeling her ten petal soft fingers wrap around my wrinkled hands.

Then she jumped…..into my heart forever.

It’s Summer Everyday, and Christmas at the Same Time!

This morning I heard a car drive up. I was expecting them. Our children were driving to a wedding in the States, but stopping by first to drop off some items and stretch their legs.

I opened the back door and there she was. Our first grandchild, just one year old, standing between her mommy and daddy’s legs in her pyjamas, blonde curls dancing in the breeze.

Her little finger points and she utters a greeting in toddler jibber jabber. I laugh, and she mimics me back. I watch her teeter in and look around, and think “this has got to be the best way to start my day!”

When our children were born, we kept our heads down and noses to the grindstone, concentrating all our efforts on getting through the sleepless nights, learning all the do’s and don’ts. Now that our grandchild is here, it is like our heads are lifted – heaven has opened, it’s summer everyday, and Christmas at the same time. My prayer list has gotten longer, but my cup runneth over, Oh yes, and my videos, and text messages:)

My daughter reminds me of the toys in the spare room, and I rush to pull them out. Willow follows behind and is delighted to meet her old friend Bear, and Fisher Price Shapes.

I put the coffee on, and pull out a watermelon from the refrigerator, slice it up and watch her Daddy put her in the new high chair we bought. There’s even a bib still hanging there from their last visit. I perch on a chair nearby and marvel at her little fingers, how they pick up, and push the fruit in her mouth. She hums as she chews, and I melt.

They’re back on the road, and the flurry of excitement is now silent and still. I could pick up the toys like I use to, keep the living room all neat and tidy, but instead I’m going to leave them scattered down the hallway. I’ll leave her bib untouched on the table too. Want to keep the moments fresh. Signs of life, signs of joy, and the promise of a bright tomorrow.

God knows just what we need in the middle of our lives to press on towards eternity with purpose and joy!